To understand the effect of surface modification on the degradation of battery materials, analytical transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which provides fine structure and chemical state with high spatial resolution, was applied. To address current issues about the artificial damage around the surface region of cathodic oxide particles from sample preparation, such as ion milling, LiCoO2 submicron particles were synthesized by using the Pechini method; LiCoO2 particles modified by the oxides of Zr were prepared by using the evaporation and dryness method. Smaller Zr-oxide particles with a diameter of about 10 nm and partial coverage were deposited on LiCoO2 to explore the effect of coating. The cycling properties of a cell containing LiCoO2 were improved by coating with Zr oxides even in the inhomogeneous coverage. Capacity retention was found to be virtually the same as that of cells containing LiCoO2 coated with 5 wt% and 10 wt% oxides of Zr. Our TEM results revealed a thin Li-Zr oxide overlayer on the LiCoO2 surface, where Zr-oxide particles were not deposited. It is suggested that this thin overlayer can provide an effective improvement of the electrochemical performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry